Saturday, July 15, 2006

In the Amazone

Getting the published is the worst thing that ever happened to my writing, because there’s so much online to distract me--including Amazon.

I love Amazon. I order lots of books from there--lots more than I intend to. I want to buy just one, but if I buy only three more, I qualify for FREE Super-Saver Shipping! Even when I plan to buy a book from a local store or check it out from the library, I often look it up on Amazon for more info about it and what else the author has written.

And I hate Amazon. The publication of MAJOR CRUSH is still 16 days, 12 hours, 36 minutes, and 2 seconds away. But since the book was listed for pre-sale on Amazon last December, there has been Too Much Information.

Better together
Amazon sometimes suggests that if you buy one book, you buy another book you’d also enjoy. For instance, when you pull up a page for the other books in the Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies series, Amazon suggests you buy...a second Simon Pulse Romantic Comedy. No brainer. And when you pull up the page for my Simon Pulse Romantic Comedy, Amazon suggests you buy a Spanish textbook.

What do customers ultimately buy after viewing items like this?
In this statistic, Amazon tells you that someone viewed your book but decided to buy a different book instead. In other words, Baxter McClanahan asked you to the prom, but he left with a willowy cheerleader named Beige.

And finally, the dreaded sales rank
I know from long months of experience that if someone buys a copy of your book, your Amazon rank will soar to #15,000. Over the ensuing weeks, you will slowly and painfully drop to #100,000, to #400,000, to #800,000, and finally below #1,000,000. If you did not feel more secure about your writing career, you might almost be tempted to buy 16 copies of your own book just to save you from your rank between a knitting manual from 1982 and a biography of Oliver Wendell Holmes. I said almost.

Go ahead and make fun of me. But when your first book comes out, I will remember this...


Carla Swafford said...

Personally, I want to know when the next book is coming out! I know, I know. I'll be the same way. Looking at Amazon's ranking, feeling like a failure. Though you must remember...YOU EDITOR LOVED THE BOOK ENOUGH TO BUY IT!

I'm trying to found that editor that likes my books. Then I promise I will understand how you feel and you can remind me. Misery loves company and I want to be your company. :::g:::

Karen Beeching said...

Never having been published, Jennifer, I can't say I know your pain. But this was a hilarious article. Thanks. I really needed the chuckle today.

Little Willow said...

I'm a very nice person, but even I think Beige is EVIL to the core.

Deborah Matthews said...

Try to think of it in this light. Amazon's sales percentage is low when compared to conglomerates like Wal-Mart. Check out this NYT article. That's a bit too neurotic.

Janice Lynn said...

tee hee. Jennifer I so remember feeling like I needed intervention, too. Fortunately mine lasted about a month (around the time my book came out) & I haven't checked numbers in....probably 2 or 3 months. Possibly longer. Of course, I'd likely get depressed if I did since it's been 8 months since Jane MIllionaire came out. :)

Paula said...

I used to check the Amazon numbers hourly. Then I managed to get it down to daily. Now I check once a week or so. Too depressing otherwise. ;)